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Inner Circle secrets may not be divulged to outsiders.

Fraz--

 

Respectfully saying this of course, but I think it's easy to make fun of TCM's Inner Circle if you don't fully understand the nature of the studies/activities that are being carried out at the Inner Circle website. These are very savvy people whose expertise is marketing and helping TCM develop sustainable products and services. Unless you are participating, I don't think you get where they are going with some of it. Just my viewpoint here. 

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  • 1 month later...

It's been awhile since I posted in this thread. There are new articles posted on the Inner Circle webpage for the month of July. Plus a new survey about streaming services. Check it out, if you regularly participate in these activities.

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Thanks for starting this topic up again, TB.  Just went onto that website, completed the survey and am now a member of the IC.  Looking forward to participating in that as well!

Ignore it.  It's a marketing gimmick.

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Thanks for starting this topic up again, TB.  Just went onto that website, completed the survey and am now a member of the IC.  Looking forward to participating in that as well!

You're welcome! The surveys are kind of fun, plus they're quick and easy to do. Sometimes you will get an email notification that they have a longer questionnaire to answer. If you take the time to complete those, you become eligible for prizes (awarded every three months I think).

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Fraz--

 

Respectfully saying this of course, but I think it's easy to make fun of TCM's Inner Circle if you don't fully understand the nature of the studies/activities that are being carried out at the Inner Circle website. These are very savvy people whose expertise is marketing and helping TCM develop sustainable products and services. Unless you are participating, I don't think you get where they are going with some of it. Just my viewpoint here. 

 

 

It is--or probably was, when it started out--trying to extend Warner's idea of the Warner Insider online community for the use of focus-group surveying, which they thought would have an active discussion forum, but later devolved into JUST closed-insider customer surveys.  (Hence the "May not be revealed to outsiders", which most corporate focus surveys can't for legal reasons.)

 

In Warner Insiders' case, most of the surveys were informative about their ideas, but also let the penny drop about Warner's ideas for marketing that they hoped that, with enough leading questions and glowing copy, the public would gladly rubber-stamp and "allow" them to quietly phase out other ideas--

Eg.  "Are you looking forward to buying the digital version of Batman v. Superman?  How early are you hoping to preorder?  Are you going to preorder before or after it's released in theaters?  What would you think of only being able to buy a digital version?"  "Would you be willing to buy digital-only boxsets of other Warner classics?", etc.  

Call me paranoid, Warner, but I think I'm starting to pick up a theme, here...

 

If they're pitching to TCM customers, sounds like they're trying to get an idea of how widely Warner can market TCM as a brand, eg. with the Disney tie-ins, video labels, etc.

Nothing wrong with Warner surveys, just so long as both parties can remind the other who holds the leash.

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If they're pitching to TCM customers, sounds like they're trying to get an idea of how widely Warner can market TCM as a brand, eg. with the Disney tie-ins, video labels, etc.

Nothing wrong with Warner surveys, just so long as both parties can remind the other who holds the leash.

The surveys, with their usual focus on technology (apps and streaming options) tells me they are trying to gauge how technologically proficient TCM's audience may be. On the latest survey, after you make your choices, you see how everyone else has been answering. And it surprised me the percentage that claim they don't stream at all. So either the company has to be more aggressive and push streaming, or else it has to find other ways to sell movies (such as continuing with DVDs, though I think that market is dying and companies are trying to phase out DVDs and go to streaming).

 

My guess is that the survey results are a little discouraging for them, because a lot of viewers seem reluctant to adapt to newer technologies. 

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The surveys, with their usual focus on technology (apps and streaming options) tells me they are trying to gauge how technologically proficient TCM's audience may be. On the latest survey, after you make your choices, you see how everyone else has been answering. And it surprised me the percentage that claim they don't stream at all. So either the company has to be more aggressive and push streaming, or else it has to find other ways to sell movies (such as continuing with DVDs, though I think that market is dying and companies are trying to phase out DVDs and go to streaming).

 

One big problem that's throwing a wrench into studio bean counting and disk-vs.-digital strategies, is that most studios are still living in 2008, and literally don't factor Blu-ray sales into their disk numbers--

If a movie sells on home-theater disk, it "sells on DVD", and being DVD, it doesn't.  Given a choice, most of us stopped buying SD, what, five years ago?  Six?  

But since many studios don't know how to crunch the numbers, they go with their old 00's projections that Blu-ray is a "niche market for a limited number of tech consumers", despite the fact that you can buy them for $10 at Wal-Mart now.

Obviously home-theater sales would "look bad" if you were only counting VHS sales.

 

My guess is that the survey results are a little discouraging for them, because a lot of viewers seem reluctant to adapt to newer technologies. 

 

There's a joke among those savvy with Warner focus surveys:  "When they want THEIR opinion, they'll ask you for it."

 

They want some kind of paper trail to show that the public "wants" their latest idea to phase out catalog sales or disks, that digital and/or streaming is the Way to Go, that we only buy well-established cult films when we buy catalog disks, or that we "don't really care anyway" about something they'd rather banish to the Archive, and more often than not...they can often be in for a mildly rude awakening of "discouraging results".

 

I remember being on one chat-based Warner survey trying to gauge whether BatmanvS or Suicide Squad's trailers, or both, were getting more positive buzz from DC-based comic fans, and asked the wider mainstream-Insider crowd what they thought about the image of Warner/DC comic-book movies in general.

This, btw, happened to be the same weekend that Marvel's "Ant-Man" was releasing in theaters, and they wanted to know what we thought of the first BatmanvS trailer...Can you say "Awkward timing"?  The results were not pretty that night (ie. "What do we think?  You might want to rephrase that question."), and Warner's movie hadn't even opened yet.  

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There's a joke among those savvy with Warner focus surveys:  "When they want THEIR opinion, they'll ask you for it."

 

They want some kind of paper trail to show that the public "wants" their latest idea to phase out catalog sales or disks, that digital and/or streaming is the Way to Go, that we only buy well-established cult films when we buy catalog disks, or that we "don't really care anyway" about something they'd rather banish to the Archive, and more often than not...they can often be in for a mildly rude awakening of "discouraging results".

It sounds like you have a lot of experience with customer feedback surveys. I am not sure if TCM is trying to get people to confirm its opinions or beliefs-- but as I have indicated previously, I think they're trying to gauge how technologically oriented their viewers might be. Nothing wrong with that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been awhile since I posted in this thread. There are new articles posted on the Inner Circle webpage for the month of July. Plus a new survey about streaming services. Check it out, if you regularly participate in these activities.

It's been a week or two since I checked the results of the survey about streaming services. The answers were not what I expected. 

 

If you're a member of the Inner Circle, log in and take a look...

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It's been a week or two since I checked the results of the survey about streaming services. The answers were not what I expected. 

 

If you're a member of the Inner Circle, log in and take a look...

 

The results are indeed very interesting, but hardly scientific either. The problem with these surveys, as I see it, is that they imply that the television viewing habits of Inner Circle members are somehow representative of TCM's entire audience, which is not necessarily the case. So I'd take any results with a grain of salt.

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The results are indeed very interesting, but hardly scientific either. The problem with these surveys, as I see it, is that they imply that the television viewing habits of Inner Circle members are somehow representative of TCM's entire audience, which is not necessarily the case. So I'd take any results with a grain of salt.

Probably several grains.  I've given up on the Inner Circle and seldom even open their emails.  Never go to the website.  The real question is what percentage of TCM Forum members are active in Inner Circle and then what percentage of TCM viewers are active in either?

As you state, it would be very hard to determine who are TCM viewers and then what do they wish to purchase or view.  Not to mention the demographics of the TCM audience and how that relates to people actually making purchases.

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The results are indeed very interesting, but hardly scientific either. The problem with these surveys, as I see it, is that they imply that the television viewing habits of Inner Circle members are somehow representative of TCM's entire audience, which is not necessarily the case. So I'd take any results with a grain of salt.

I think these surveys tell us more about TCM than about the people TCM is trying to get information from...for instance, if they are doing a survey about streaming services, and they are listing five to ten possible services, then they are indicating an awareness of their competition. And the choices they put at the top of the list tell me they are most aware (or even concerned) about that alternative source of entertainment which might siphon away viewers.

 

This isn't so much about finding new ways to market, as much as it is about staying relevant and competitive.

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I think these surveys tell us more about TCM than about the people TCM is trying to get information from...for instance, if they are doing a survey about streaming services, and they are listing five to ten possible services, then they are indicating an awareness of their competition. And the choices they put at the top of the list tell me they are most aware (or even concerned) about that alternative source of entertainment which might siphon away viewers.

 

This isn't so much about finding new ways to market, as much as it is about staying relevant and competitive.

 

That's true, my biggest reason for staying on Warner Insider surveys is getting a nice Freudian cross-section of their studio fears at the moment, before they decide to act on them:

One of my latest Warner surveys asked us how much we use Netflix and whether we'd buy the latest direct-video title with a big "Not Available on Netflix" sticker on it.

(Because, y'see, everyone knows Netflix is so popular with the folks today, that's probably the biggest enemy their video sales division has, y'see...)

 

First rule to understand about Warner, WHV, the Archive, TCM, and other Warner holdings is...they're Warner.  They don't know very much, and they're afraid of their own shadow.  (Literally, in some cases.)  

We must teach them wisdom, to conquer their fears and superstitions, before they destroy innocent victims.

 

That said, where is the Inner Circle, to see all these results?  Is it an invitational site?  Doesn't seem to be on the main TCM.

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That's true, my biggest reason for staying on Warner Insider surveys is getting a nice Freudian cross-section of their studio fears at the moment, before they decide to act on them:

One of my latest Warner surveys asked us how much we use Netflix and whether we'd buy the latest direct-video title with a big "Not Available on Netflix" sticker on it.

(Because, y'see, everyone knows Netflix is so popular with the folks today, that's probably the biggest enemy their video sales division has, y'see...)

 

First rule to understand about Warner, WHV, the Archive, TCM, and other Warner holdings is...they're Warner.  They don't know very much, and they're afraid of their own shadow.  (Literally, in some cases.)  

We must teach them wisdom, to conquer their fears and superstitions, before they destroy innocent victims.

 

That said, where is the Inner Circle, to see all these results?  Is it an invitational site?  Doesn't seem to be on the main TCM.

Yes, I think most of these companies are afraid of Netflix, that's the feeling I was getting too. But Netflix doesn't focus on classic older movies, mostly newer stuff and original programming. 

 

The Inner Circle invitations were sent to long-time message board posters in late 2015 and early 2016. But I think anyone can go to the site and register/sign-up.

 

https://www.tcminnercircle.com

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The Inner Circle page has been updated for September (I guess they didn't see a need to cover Summer Under the Stars last month).

 

There are more articles than usual. Though the image for the Dr. Strangelove screening is very blurry.

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